Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : October 23rd 2014 Contents A5
Thursday, October 23, 2014 www.guardian.co.tt Guardian
President Anthony Carmona says "unwarranted
attacks" which seek to bring members of his family
and his office into disrepute will not be tolerated.
A statement from his office yesterday confirmed a
CNC3 report on Tuesday that attorneys representing
his wife, Reema, had sent a pre-action protocol letter
to comedienne and radio talk show host Rachel Price
last Friday over alleged defamatory and offensive state-
ments related to the First Lady s attire at the UN last
The constitutional right of freedom of expression
was not a licence to defame, the statement said.
"The Office of the President respects and values
the constitutional right of every individual to freedom
of expression and the principles of fair comments.
Freedom of the press remains sacrosanct," the statement
It said the pre-action protocol letter was issued on
the advice of Senior Counsel and was in respect of
defamatory statements only.
"The Office of the President will be vigilant to
protect the dignity of Office of the President and
ensure that the citizens of the Republic of T&T continue
to maintain respect for the office," the statement said.
During her radio programme yesterday, Price said
she was yet to get the letter. But saying it was an
attack on freedom of speech and her right to speak
on a public figure and on an incident which drew
public attention and comment, Price vowed to fight
it in court.
Nigerians are once again free
to visit T&T and the Govern-
ment has agreed to contribute
US$100,000 to the United
Nations Ebola Response Multi-
Partner Trust Fund to fight the
virus in the affected west
Health Minister Dr Fuad Khan
announced at yesterday s post-
Cabinet news conference the
travel restrictions against Nige-
ria, which has since been
declared Ebola-free, have been
lifted with immediate effect.
However, the October 9 ban
prohibiting visitors from Guinea,
Sierra Leone, Liberia and the
Democratic Republic of the
Congo, in an effort to prevent
the virus from entering the
country, remains intact.
Cabinet s decision to lift the
ban follows the World Health
Organisation (WHO) declaration
on Monday that Nigeria was
now free of the Ebola virus and
the denial of entry to a Nigerian
woman who came to spend time
with her daughter, who lives in
At the briefing, at the San
Fernando Teaching Hospital,
"Nigeria has been cleared by
the WHO. At Cabinet today,
discussions took place based on
the new information from the
"The honourable Prime Min-
ister, as well as the Cabinet, have
agreed that based on the infor-
mation from the WHO and
based on the stringent screening
methods that have occurred in
international countries, standard
to embarkation and exit of pas-
sengers, the Cabinet has decided
to lift the ban on the Federal
Republic of Nigeria with imme-
WHO s clearance came 42
days since Nigeria s last reports
of any new cases. Khan
explained that period was twice
the maximum incubation period
for the virus to develop.
Before yesterday s announce-
ment, Prime Minister Kamla
Persad-Bissessar had suggested
a leaning to the lifting of the
ban when she noted the close
relationship T&T shared with
Speaking at the opening of
the Golconda Interchange on
Tuesday, Persad-Bissessar said:
"We have a lot of Nigerian
doctors who work here, a lot of
Trinis go to work in Nigeria and
in addition, you remember the
President, Goodluck Jonathan,
had visited us here and he is a
friend of ours."
Chairman of the Emancipation Support
Committee Khafra Kambon says racism is
still being practised against African people
Kambon was speaking on Tuesday at a
panel discussion on the topic, T&T s Inter-
national Obligations regarding Race Relations,
Gun Violence and Human Rights---Assessing
the Trayvon Martin Case, at the Noor Has-
sanali Auditorium, St Augustine Campus,
University of the West Indies.
Other panellists were Jasmine Rand, attor-
ney for the family of Trayvon Martin, and
dean of the Faculty of Law Prof Rose-Marie
Martin was a 17-year-old African American
of Miami Gardens, Florida, who was fatally
shot by George Zimmerman, a neighborhood
watch volunteer, in Sanford, Florida, in 2012.
Dealing with the ban on citizens from some
countries with Ebola cases, Kambon said
that move was "irrational, hysterical and
there is no scientific justification for that
He said people with Ebola were more likely
to enter T&T by sea than by air and banning
citizens from entering the country would
not protect the country from Ebola.
"It is rational behaviour based on science
that is going to protect you," he pointed out.
He criticised the Government for imposing
a travel ban on Nigeria even after the WHO
had said it was free of the virus.
Kambon said: "Nigerians have been vir-
tually banned from this country for a long
He was made aware of this ban last year
after COPA Airlines said every time it brought
Nigerians to T&T, they were being turned
approval for some Nigerians to enter T&T.
There were only about 1,000 Nigerians in
the country of an estimated 100,000 undoc-
umented visitors, he said.
"When it comes to Africans from the
continent, they are the most abused immi-
grants," he added.
Kambon said 80 per cent of the immigrants
at the detention centre were from Africa and
spoke of acts of brutality against people being
held there, including one who was brutally
beaten on May 21 and might have suffered
He said the man was released under former
National Security Minister Jack Warner but
re-arrested under the current minister, Gary
Kambon also said citizens should be very
concerned about the level of police killings
in the country for the year to date, as it was
"absolutely unacceptable, no matter what
fears we have about crime."
If it were anyone else being killed other
than young African males from particular
communities, public reaction would have
been different, he argued.
He said in many instances "there has been
no justification for the execution of young
African males in this society."
National Security Minister Gary Griffith
said previously the move to deal with illegal
immigrants was not a witch-hunt but intend-
ed to ensure the matter was properly
addressed and the Government would seek
to regularise the status of illegal immigrants
Africans in T&T
After clearance from WHO...
Travel ban on
Khan also challenged OWTU-
represented Petrotrin workers,
who refused to berth the
Overseas Yellowstone oil
tanker, to prove that vessel and
crew, which came from Gabon,
were dangerous and posed a
danger to them.
While acknowledging that
workers had the right to refuse
work under the Occupational
Health and Safety Act if there
were safety concerns, he said:
"He who alleges must prove."
He said the ministry checked
the vessel and it was up to the
OWTU to prove the vessel was
dangerous and if it could not,
workers had violated the rules
of their employment.
He said a Ministry of Health
official boarded the vessel and
made an assessment and if a
boat came from a country
where the virus was not
present, they could issue a
medical clearance certificate.
Hazmat suits were only for
people coming into contact
with Ebola-riddled bodies, he
"They are getting the
erroneous assumption that
everyone must put on a
hazmat suit, based on what
the international media has
"You don't get somebody
with a hazmat suit sitting in an
area waiting for a boat to come
in or boarding a boat," he said.
Khan said the Government
was still awaiting isolation
units, hazmat suits and
protective gear and was still
training medical workers to
deal with the virus.
He said thermal cameras
soon would be installed at
PETROTRIN WORKERS WRONG
Family attacks will not
be tolerated---Carmona Susanda Mohip,
daughter of Susan
Mohip, bows to President
Anthony Carmona after
he was garlanded at the
Divali Nagar on Tuesday
night. PHOTO: EDISON
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